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Mr. BROOKS. Apparently you didn't see it that day. Does that secretary still work for you?
Mr. KERLIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. Orders like this when it says on them that the work has already been completed? It might even have occurred to her that it was unusual and she could say that I will show this to the boss when he comes back from wherever you were.
Mr. KERLIN. She didn't show it to me.
Mr. BROOKS. Real security in the office. You could probably help the Pentagon security matters.
After this information came to your desk, was it directed to Mrs. McKean who typed up the job order and sent it with the supporting data back to you for approval!
Mr. KERLIN. I am sure it must have been.
Mr. BROOKS. When it came back, did you then notice—is that when you signed this routing slip and noted that the work was completed ?
Mr. KERLIN. No; I didn't see the supporting data until it was returned to us by the Comptroller. That was several weeks later.
Mr. BROOKS. You signed the job order without seeing the supporting data, then, which would have indicated that the work was all completed?
Mr. KERLIN. That's right.
Mr. BROOKS. Do you habitually sign job orders without looking at the supporting data ?
Mr. KERLIN. No; I don't. But
Mr. KERLIN. I was getting ready to go on a trip. I suppose I was too hurried.
Mr. BROOKS. I notice on the job order that you have it routed to the area manager, our friend Mr. Collins, and yet the amount is $5,000 plus. Why would you send it to the area manager when he is limited for negotiations at $2,000?
Mr. KERLIN. The procedures in this region are somewhat different from the region I just left-I had just left before that.
Mr. BROOKS. Apparently they were different. Where were you before
you came here? Mr. KERLIN. Region 3. The routine there was quite different. In fact, the building manager and area managers wrote many orders much larger than this one. However, that didn't mean that they approved them. They made them for somebody else's signature.
Mr. BROOKS. In this instance you just sent it right straight to the area manager. Would you do that tomorrow if one came through for $6,000?
Mr. KERLIN. Not now. I know what the procedure is.
Mr. BROOKS. Have you sent any others down there without looking at the supporting data?
Mr. KERLIN. No, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. Don't you think that is kind of a risky way for the Government to do business?
Mr. KERLIN. Yes, sir; I sure do.
Mr. BROOKS. You signed it without ever seeing that supporting data. And you have been with the Government 25 years?
Mr. KERLIN. That's right.
Mr. BROOKS. It doesn't sound like you made that mistake often, or you wouldn't still be here.
Mr. KERLIN. No, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. What happened to the supporting data ? What would you guess?
Mr. KERLIN. I assumed it became detached and was then later attached to the order and forwarded to the Comptroller.
Mr. BROOKS. When it comes in to your desk, don't they normally have them stapled together, or clipped together, or in a folder in such way that when you look at this order, next in your mind on the checkoff list is, Why do we spend this money? Who wants it? What is it for? Doesn't that turn up next on the wheel?
Mr. KERLIN. Yes; usually:
Mr. KERLIN. Except they are not stapled. They are attached with a rubber band or paper clip.
Mr. BROOKS. So they might have slipped out of the paper clip. So when you look over the supporting data as to why you were to sign this order, and there isn't anything, don't you put it in a stack and call your secretary and say, "Mrs. McKean, would you please try to locate the supporting data on this; apparently it is lost.” It seems like a normal, standard, operation. It might happen every day. You just stack up those that don't have the data?
Mr. KERLIN. That's right.
Mr. BROOKS. Wouldn't you normally wait until they found the supporting data before you signed it?
Mr. KERLIN. That is correct.
Mr. BROOKS. Do you recall ever signing work orders without having some supporting data, some reason for doing it previously?
Mr. KERLIN. I had been in this region such a short time that I was relying somewhat on the people around me to keep the paper work straight, and I must admit I did sign this one without
Mr. BROOKS. You had been here how long, when you signed this one?
Mr. KERLIN. Less than a month.
Mr. BROOKS. Less than a month. We just talked with Mr. Patterson, and he apparently didn't pay a lot of attention to it, just bucked it on up and let it ride. Didn't think it necessary to apprise you of the possibility that there might be some question about a matter like this.
Mr. KERLIN. I think there was a lot of question about it. It is just that I overlooked the order.
Mr. BROOKS. I have one other thing. Does your secretary, when these requests come in, automatically type out the job order?
Mr. KERLIN. Yes.
Mr. BROOKS. When they bring in a stack of these requests, do they stack them on her desk? When they come in the mail, she opens them up and types up the job order? Mr. KERLIN. That's right.
Mr. BROOKS. You don't look at them before?
Mr. BROOKS. And worth the risk of her typing them up, and preparing them for your consideration ?
Mr. KERLIN. That's right. I assume Mr. BROOKS. You don't compare them first? Mr. KERLIN. No. I assume that the people who are sending them in, who have been with the Government for a long time, had gone to the trouble of checking to see that they came in properly.
Mr. BROOKS. This is something that is not always correct.
Mr. KERLIN. I don't make that assumption now. I did at the time this order was signed.
Mr. BROOKS. I am sorry to have been part of shaking your faith in your colleagues.
I see here a memo on the normal procedure involving the budgetanalysis officer. When do you utilize his services?
Mr. KERLIN. That is a lady. She gets these orders
Mr. BROOKS. We have to rephrase that and say, When do you confer with her as to her opinion as to these matters?
Mr. KERLIN. I assume that when she gets the order and passes it to Mrs. McKean to type, that she has reviewed it to see whether everything is proper on that.
Mr. BROOKS. You assume when it comes to your office, to your secretary, and she types it, and you get it all typed, that it has already been to the budget analyst ?
Mr. KERLIN. That's right. I know that it has been to her.
Mr. BROOKS. Had this one been to her on that route slip that you looked at that didn't have any supporting data attached to it?
Mr. KERLIN. On this particular one I asked her if she had seen it, and she said that she did not see this one.
Mr. BROOKS. And you signed it without her having seen it?
Mr. KERLIN. Well, I didn't check it with her at that time. I checked with her after the question came up about the order.
Mr. BROOKS. Don't you think that normally, before you signed it, you would see if the budget analysis had been made on it? if there is some supporting data? I am not asking the impossible. Congress doesn't expect anybody to be superhuman, just to have a checklist that you try to go by.
Mr. KERLIN. Since this order came through, I check everything that goes into each one of the orders. But I didn't at the time that this one was done, because, as I said, I assume that all the people were well aware of the procedures and were following them. I don't assume that now.
Mr. BROOKS. We thank you very much. We trust that you will be less trusting
Mr. Eugene Moran?
Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. MORAN. I do.
TESTIMONY OF EUGENE MORAN, CHIEF, ADMINISTRATIVE DIVI
SION, COMMODITY STABILIZATION SERVICE, KANSAS CITY, MO.
Mr. BROOKS. Will you be seated and give us your position with the Government?
Mr. MORAN. My name is Eugene D. Moran. I am chief of the administrative division, Kansas City commodity office, Commodity Stabilization Service.
Mr. Brooks. In view of the testimony that has been given here, I am sure that you want to contribute to the knowledge on this subject.
When Mr. Burns brought in his proposal on August 17 to do the work for Commodity Stabilization, was there a discussion on the question of whether to proceed through the GSA or to acquire it on your own authority?
Mr. MORAN. There was no question to proceed with GSA at that time.
Mr. BROOKS. Would you repeat that.
Mr. MORAN. There was no question—we did not discuss it going through GSA at that time. Mr. BROOKS. How did GSA ever hear about it?
Mr. Moran. I requested our administrative services office, who normally procure furniture and equipment of this nature, in Denver, toI gave them a requisition asking them to secure partitions for us. They received the request in Denver and later advised me that they would not do anything with it but would refer the matter to GSA.
Mr. BROOKS. Was it on the basis of this word from Denver that you proceeded with the work?
Mr. MORAN. No.
Mr. MORAN. Mr. Burns—at the time this was going on, the building was in the final stages of completion. Mr. Burns knew that we were going to obtain some cubicles and that we were going to requisition them.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Burns said this?
Mr. Moran. No; he knew this, that we were going to request them, because I had discussed with him partitions, their cost, just to get an idea.
Mr. BROOKS. You told Mr. Burns that you wanted some partitions?
Mr. MORAN. We were going to get them from somebody. I don't know who. But we were going to request our office to get some partitions.
Mr. BROOKS. Your Denver office?
Mr. MORAN. We prepared the request after we discussed what the cost would be on his basis and requested our Denver office to secure some partitions for us. They came back and said, "Refer the matter to GSA and let them handle it.'
In the meantime, between the date that our requisition went in to Denver and the time we were told to refer the matter to GSA, Mr. Burns came and advised me that he wanted to put the partitions in. I said, “I have no authority for you to put those partitions in,” and I made the mistake of letting him put the partitions in, even though, on at least three occasions, I told him, ”You do not have the authority to do this and expect us to buy your partitions."
Mr. BROOKS. I would think that would be absolutely correct.
Mr. MORGAN. But on at least three occasions I informed him that there was no authority, that we were letting him put it in due to the fact that the building was in the process of being completed. We were anxious to get the building completed. But in no way did I imply to him that I had authority. In fact, I told him I didn't, because I didn't have.
Mr. BROOKS. Who did you think would pay?
Mr. MORAN. He said—I said, what I told you there, that this is not an order, and he said, "I will take my chances on the bids."
Mr. BROOKS. His chances on what?
Mr. MorAn. On whatever the procedure is that they will go through to get partitions for you.
Mr. BROOKS. Bids? And he was already going to have them in? Mr. MORAN. That's right.
Mr. BROOKS. And he was going to meet a bid. A bid contemplates that there are several people competing for the opportunity to perform a given service.
Mr. MORAN. Correct.
Mr. BROOKS. He is going to do it all right, and then take his chances on getting to do that which he has already done!
Mr. MORAN. That's right.
Mr. BROOKS. Did you follow that reasoning and think that that made sense?
Mr. Moran. No; I didn't. That is why I kept reminding him of the fact.
Mr. BROOKS. Why didn't you tell him to haul it out of there, that he had no business in there, that he was trespassing on Government property? That he didn't have any authority to put a stick of wood or a piece of tin in that office without authority from the GSA to pay him, or without your Denver office approving him.
Mr. MORAN. That is correct.